The prominence of the digital environment means it is difficult to find services that aren’t offered online these days. This is not only convenient for consumers but also those in the market for a business. While an increasing number of people are opting to start their own businesses, there are a range of benefits to taking over an existing enterprise. Aside from the obvious freedoms of being your own boss, you also have access to any online assets associated with the business, an existing employee structure, current sales channels, and of course, profitability taking into consideration tax, wages, shipping and all other costs. Opportunities for online business owners will only rise as technology develops further and people become more connected. It is with this in mind that GMO Business offers an insight into the advantages of buying an online business.
Online versus offline businesses
The characteristics of a successful business can often be a sign of the times.
What may have previously engaged customers can just as easily be made redundant by the ever-changing nature of consumer tastes.
Trends such as online shopping have forced retailers to update their strategies if they are to attract customers.
This has included a greater emphasis on experienced-based shopping, with many stores now incorporating entertainment and activities.
While the emergence of groups like Amazon continues to put pressure on the traditional store shopfront, bricks and mortar trading still satisfies an important need for some customers.
They talk in different ways and appeal to a different audience at different times. They can complement each other and work to offer different marketing opportunities to different market segments. An online presence is critical if a business is going to survive, but as humans, we are tactile and look for experiences and entertainment.
Shopfront owners and online entrepreneurs still share common ground when it comes to the current climate.
Is an online business always e-commerce?
It used to be very vogue to be classified as an entrepreneur, but in essence, all business owners are. In Australia, there are possibilities in all areas. Any transaction taking place over the internet can be classified as e-commerce. Sometimes e-commerce can even take the form of a good or service being traded for another type of good or service. As an online business, you may engage in e-commerce using traditional websites, social media channels, and mobile and tablet Apps (often known as ‘in-app’ purchasing). While e-commerce is a popular choice among first-time buyers due to its relative simplicity, it is not the only avenue in the online realm. Other options include content (display advertising), affiliate, software, blogging, apps, business coaching, course creation, eBay sales, research, and many more.
Is buying an online business a smart investment?
Online businesses do not require a physical presence, meaning there are fewer physical assets to worry about and the overheads are considerably less. In a world where content creation and outreach are the priorities, investments of time are required more than those of money. This allows for higher profit margins, while also offering various monetization methods. The marketing potential of online businesses forms another important part of their appeal. Access to a wide variety of tools and data takes any difficulty away from tracking and measuring the return. Services such as Google Analytics add another element to gauging what works and what doesn’t by providing real-time feedback.
1. Online is the future
Just about every business is influenced or affected by technology.
Some of the most noticeable developments in the business world throughout the past decade have come from technological advancement. Cloud software, data collection, artificial intelligence, voice recognition, social media advertising and the importance of cyber security have each had their own impact on the day-to-day operation of companies. Increased connectivity within the industry is among the subjects included in global financial firm Fitch Solutions’ Towards 2050: Megatrends in Industry, Politics, and the Global Economy Special Report.
In a preview to the report, Fitch Solutions Global Head of Industry Marina Petroleka said internet and connectivity proliferation would soon be “at the heart” of multiple industries.
“It’s getting to the point where we see ‘traditional’ telecoms as a sector morphing into service with no discernible boundaries,” she said.
“The ‘Internet of Things’ will become a dominant force across industries, even though the parameters of its economic viability are still emerging and evolution could be delayed or derailed by regulatory, cybersecurity and policy backlash.”
2. Location freedom: running your business from anywhere
Do you dream about running your business from a remote beach in the Caribbean or South East Asia? With a variety of existing online businesses for sale, your dream could become a reality. Running an e-commerce business from any place that you choose is very much supported by fulfillment companies and online communication and project management tools. If you have a decent Wi-Fi connection, you can more or less work from anywhere in the world!
3. Creating your own rhythm and routines
Working nine to five. The daily grind. The office environment has traditionally been portrayed less than favorably. While the criticism is not altogether warranted, it has made the prospect of choosing your own hours somewhat of a fantasy for many. Like all businesses, online enterprises still require work, but the schedule can be shaped around what comes naturally to you rather than the expectations of someone else. Success can still be achieved while getting to enjoy activities that are not compatible with the nine to five lifestyle.
4. High productivity
Those that truly value the freedom offered by online businesses are usually the ones to prosper. They know the ability to work from anywhere at any time must be matched with a drive to rise above the pack. Fortunately, the online environment has the tools needed to take productivity to the next level. Using Productivity tools, business process automation tools, marketing automation and cloud computing technologies in business are the ways that improve productivity in the workplace by using the internet. Google Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive, Asana, Google Analytics, Google Calendar, and Evernote, etc. applications are all very beneficial for businesses.
5. Full control over your future
No one can say for sure what lies ahead and there is a certain amount of risk associated with buying an existing business. As the owner, you are in the best position to future proof your business against any industry challenges that may arise, while also having the final say on the direction it is heading. There will always be aspects out of your control but success will taste sweeter knowing you have spearheaded the path that led there.
6. Access to an awesome community of supportive people
There are challenges to every business, but finding strength in those around you is one of the key ways in which to move forward. Given that part of entrepreneurship is knowing when to take calculated risks, failure is seen less as the end of the line, and more as an opportunity to grow and learn. At its best, the environment is defined by people who accept responsibility for their work, whether it brings them success or not. The connectivity which an online business provides means it may not take long to find someone who shares your experience and can offer guidance. Insights into other aspects of entrepreneurship are also readily available.
7. Dress however you want
What you wear to work can serve as an extension of a business brand, or even as a reflection of company culture. Ownership of an online business allows you to set the terms and decide on what message you want to convey. For some, this could mean turning up at a co-work space in business attire, while for others, it could be staying in their pajamas and settling down to work with a nice cup of tea. The comfort levels of your immediate workspace may seem inconsequential when compared with other operational matters, but it is another way to make the business your own.
8. You will never be bored
There can be a number of factors that can contribute to boredom in the workplace. It could be a symptom of having stayed at the same job too long or a reflection of the current industry climate. Whatever the reason may be, stagnation is never a good sign. Thankfully, owning an online business offers ongoing stimulation in the sense that your own journey is intertwined with that of the company’s. You feel closer to the triumphs and challenges because so much of it was dictated on your terms. The endless pursuit of growth in an ever-changing online world should provide the perfect antidote to any monotony.
9. There is no age barrier in running an online business
Ever been told you don’t have enough experience for a role? Or that the company is looking for someone younger? Any potential employment obstacles stemming from age are swiftly dismissed with the purchase of an online business. As an owner, your value is not measured by how much time you have spent on this earth, but by how much you know your product and the way you engage with your clientele. Anyone who has been involved with the operational running of businesses knows there is no set age for success, just the same as there is no limit on learning something new.
Buying an online business? Start with contacting GMO business brokers
Not only are we Western Australia’s number 1 business broker when it comes to selling brick and mortar businesses, but GMO also has extensive experience in brokering the purchase of existing online businesses. Online businesses come with their own unique set of requirements when it comes to buying or selling and we’re proud to lead the way in ensuring that no stone is left unturned when it comes to buying your dream future.
If you want to realize your dream of being your own boss and sharing our great state with the rest of the world, contact our business broking team today to get advice on buying an online business!